Monday, August 15, 2016

Tomato Season

What do you do when you have a million tomatoes? Well, you eat tomatoes at every meal and then you make sauce. We have had this handy dandy press for about 30 years and it does a good job of skinning and getting the seeds out. I then cooked the sauce down until it was good and thick, and packed it up in freezer containers. Now we have sauce for soups and spaghetti.

In April we went down to visit our son in Louisville and took a short side trip to a favorite herb farm in southern Indiana, Stream Cliff. The gardens weren't doing anything of course, but the tea room was very busy. And when we finally got a table we could see why. The food was delicious! I ordered a grilled cheese, tomato and pesto sandwich and it was so good. I knew I had to try and recreate it when the tomatoes were ripe. I think I did a pretty good job. Having good bread that would grill nice and crisp was key. And fresh pesto. It was so good! I want to make it again right now:)

I hope everyone has a great week and gets to enjoy some yummy fresh tomatoes!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Back Home Again

We are back from a wonderfully relaxing vacation to Siesta Key, Florida. We had such a good time. We spent our mornings at the beach, enjoying the warm, clear water, hanging out at the condo in the heat of the afternoon, and then going out for dinner at one of the fun restaurants on the island. I decided not to take my camera and just took a very few cell phone photos.

Some people have asked why we go to Florida in the summer. The answer is simple. We go to be on the beach and play in the water and in the summer we are assured it will be warm! When the kids were small we would go down in January to stay with my in-laws at the condo they rented. It was always hit or miss as to the weather. It's also much more expensive in the winter. Except for the lack of birds (we love to go birding) summer is best for us. And as it turned out, it was cooler and less humid there than it was in Indiana. Go figure!

Before we left we worked hard on the gardens and yard so we would not come back to a jungle. Not!!! It rained at least 3 times while we were gone and everything went wild! And now it's too hot to weed. I tried but I can't be out in this heat for very long, especially working. So I wander around taking pictures and trying not to feel bad about all I want to do. Here are a few:

These lilies are over 6 feet tall!

And now I have to share a couple of grandbaby pics, because well, these kids are so darn cute!

Tad has become a little fish this year!


Son Eric with Klaus
Trixie is almost 4 months old!
Sorry, I sometimes forgot to wipe the lens - it's so humid! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Bee Themed Bag

If you had ever been to my house, you would know that I love all things related to bees and beehives. I even have a room devoted to my collection - the small bathroom.

The above photo is a close up of our latest find. Actually, my husband picked it out at an antique store we were browsing and he knew that I would love it. I do! It is stamped "occupied Japan" on the back. It's not rare - I found several on ebay. But we did get a good price for it.

So anyway, I've been searching for bee related embroidery and cross stitch patterns. I found this one from pinterest and decided to stitch it up and make it into a drawstring bag. I love how it turned out!

I stitched it on some linen that I found at Walmart. (They had several different colors of this linen for under 4.00 a yard. I bought some of each, but wished I'd bought more. It's all gone now:(
Going through my fabric stash, I found this bee fabric. A perfect match! It's a great bag for storing my  ongoing needlework projects . I had so much fun making this, I've decided to make a bunch (in other designs too) and selling them. Two of my favorite things - embroidery and sewing. I could do this all day!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Colors of My Garden

Have you ever noticed that the colors of a garden change as the seasons progress? I have and it is very apparent in our gardens.

Spring is lavenders, blues, whites, and pinks, with a touch of soft yellows. Some tulips are red and orange, but I try to stay away from them. (Sometimes a bag of bulbs isn't what the label says:) Maybe these colors are in tune with the gentle spring light and soft greens of the new tree leaves. My favorite season!

 Then as the sun gets brighter and warmer with the lengthening days, the flower colors get brighter too. Strong yellows, reds, oranges and purples. Still some blues and whites to tone things down a bit.  The flowers jump out at you as you walk down the path. Maybe this is my favorite season.

As summer winds down we see a big change in the garden's colors. Warm, rich browns, dark reds, and golds. Is this your favorite season? Might be mine!

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far. We have been spending time in the garden, of course, swimming and going on hikes with our grandson, and enjoying a visit from our oldest. This weekend we are celebrating Tad's 5th birthday. Time sure flies, and more so during the summer. Slow down!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

There's Another Dr. in the House!

Please forgive a little bragging, but we are so proud of this boy! Just a week before his 32nd birthday, our middle son Andrew successfully defended his dissertation for a PhD in neurobiology.  And he did it while he and his wife were having four children, including this little sweetie just 6 weeks ago:

Andrew has accepted a job at the University. Though it's not an ideal position, he will stay there for a couple of years and get more experience. And you know what that means - we will have them near us for awhile longer! Yah!!!

PS. You might remember that our oldest son received a PhD in philosophy in 2012. I know, we don't know where they get it either:) But I have to say: home schooling works!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Scrappy Log Cabin Quilt and Pin Cushion

I have been wanting to make a log cabin quilt similar to the one made by Mias Landliv. (Her blog is closed  now, but you can see her quilt on Pinterest.) I went through my scraps and pulled out the colors I wanted to use. Not enough. So I made the trip to my not so local QS and picked up mostly French General prints. Perfect! I had forgotten how fast and easy strip piecing can be. It went together just like I wanted and in a few days it was ready to be quilted. But it will have to wait. I'm quilting another one right now and want to get it finished first.

While I had those pretty fabrics out I decided to make a pincushion based on one from Heidi Staples new book. I changed it up a little and added a place to put my quilting thread. My husband says it was about time I made something like this as we are always searching the sofa for lost scissors or thimbles! I love having everything handy in a cute place.

We took our grandson down to Turkey Run State Park on Saturday. We usually don't go there on the weekend but we thought the rainy weather would keep most people away. Wrong!!! Anyway, we had a wonderful time with this enthusiastic, smart boy. He loves nature just like his daddy and uncles, and it brought back so many memories as we hiked along the creek. We love this boy, and can't wait until the twins are ready to do this as well!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring in Our Garden

Virginia bluebells, woodland poppy, and lungwort

Crabapple in bloom, hostas coming up


Flowering quince in the herb garden

Love those snowdrops: need to plant more!

Viola planted from seed

Couldn't resist instant color - Knock-Out Rose

Pretty peach daff.

This is my most favorite time of the year - the time I wait for all the rest of the year! I love that soft green just coming on, the blooming trees, noisy mating birds, and best of all, the spring peepers. We can hear them from the creek across the back field. Of course that also means the louder frogs in our pond (and our unopened pool!) But I don't mind. We look for the eggs and then the tadpoles. I love nature!

Smaller male on female. See the strings of eggs?
 To end this post I will share what I saw when I went outside this morning. Five huge vultures perching on our barn. They look rather menacing, don't they?